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    Odd anxiety problem which is ruining my life 
    #1
    I have anxiety really bad. Here is what I am dealing with. Its really hard for me to make eye contact with people. If i make eye contact long enough my face starts to twitch and I have to look away. This has evolved into me looking down while talking, but i can tell people feel uncomfortable, girls think I am staring at their breasts and guys think I am staring at their genitals. But it has gotten so bad that my eyes automatically go there involuntarily no matter how hard I try. I know its not a sexual thing. Its hard to describe but here is a thread with other people with the same problem with a much better description then mine:

    http://www.ocdaction.org.uk/forum/ob...-partsnot-cool

    Smoking weed for me would trigger this to happen so I quit four months ago, I also quit smoking cigarettes and caffeine. The past 6 years I have done a ton of drugs. I think the drugs that triggered this behavior were amphetamine abuse, psychadelic abuse, and pot. I cant take any of these drugs anymore because during they all make this problem worsen. Alcohol, benzos are the only things that ease it during social situations.

    I'm considering going back to the doctor and talking to them to get something prescribed. This has been ruining my life. The only way I can go out anymore is if I have been drinking. But i dont want to become dependant on alcohol so I only drink once a week and the rest of the week I avoid everyone and everything. Has anyone else had problems like this?
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    #2
    I used to have such problems looking people in the eye. I would stare at their nose instead, and that worked for me. Have you tried staring at their nose?
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    #3
    Bluelighter yompf's Avatar
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    ^ lol. That might be a good idea . I just tried that on my friend . I think it might be less weird then looking everywhere else.
    He said I looked like a drunk news anchor though.
    So Saturn starship (cool name BTW) I actually have the exact same problem. And omg its so embarrassing!!
    Since I was a teenager I haven't been comfortable with eye contact. I've trained myself now that I'm older , to try and lock eyes a few times during conversation . just so I don't come off as rude or too weird. But honestly I'd rather no one talk to me at all during times of high anxiety. I'd rather them think I'm just rude or weird (I am weird after all) then make eye contact even for a little bit.
    It's weird because sometimes I can be very outgoing . but other times I'm just a wreck.
    I've always had trouble with eye contact. It makes me feel like jumping out of my skin. I usually look up at the sky or ceiling while I talk to people or I'll look off to the left or right .... Anywhere but their eyes.
    The worst is .... And I'm female... If I'm talking to another women my eyes will just be weird and look down at their tits....... Oh god !! It's so not sexual ...its like the more anxiety I have the greater the chance is this will happen . and this in turn makes me feel worse , therefore the more it happens..
    I even googled this at some point , to see if it was a "thing" like a fucking mental disorder... Lol. I had this boss and her tits were huge. And she would wear tiny shirts , and so I know she was used to seeing guys move there eyes downwards , I'm nervous as it is when I have to work. So god dang it.... always I would look down. I'd be mortified when it happened because I knew she knew . and so I started thinking that when she saw me looking up or to the left or right or even in her eyes (because she was my boss and i wanted to show respect) when she was talking to me she must of been thinking I was doing this SOLEY to avoid looking at her freaking tits...
    So thinking , she was thinking this... would trigger some ocd thing ,that I couldnt control , like some part of my subconscious hated me and wanted to make things as miserable and awkward as possible.
    So it would just happen every time.
    Let me tell you. I am anxiety ridden and terrible at being social (most times) and making things awkward is my specialty .
    Occasionally i look down to a guys private parts. But ONLY when I feel REALLY anxious. Like in the middle of a FULL blown attack and someonebut trying to be nice to me and I just can't handle it... I just make absolute sure I screw it up .
    Its not sexual. I'm not like YAAA NICE TITS!! Or OH , LOOK AT THE BULGE ON THAT ONE !!
    LOL
    Anyway. Its nice to know I'm not the only one.
    Isn't it screwed up.?
    You know , I have met only ONE other person who didn't make eye contact. And I was so intrigued , we hung out a few times... I swear if I didn't look at him at least a few times , there would of been two people engaged in long conversion , and neither looking at the other , once. He didn't even make a point to lock eyes briefly , like I did .. Or maybe he did but I was busy staring at some wall on the other side of the room and didn't notice.

    Yes alcohol is my crutch when I have to be social... It does after all go to the gaba receptors. Benzos too. Or opiates help.
    A couple days ago I was feeling really down... I had just been fired from a job for a mixture of alcohol related smells and a customer making a phone call... And I had just got this other job and I was warned about the smell already... Basically if I drink I'm going to be fired. I can brush teeth, chew mints but its a strong smell...
    I was really down because drinking really helps me perform well. I can actually focus and I can multi task and I'm a good employee... I couldn't handle it sober
    But its not gonna happen... Not in this setting.... Being able to drink I mean....

    Let me tell you that I am dealing with what is called "kindling" . I developed it whike I was withdrawaling off of benzos and I drank large amounts of alcohol to not go insane at work. This was a while ago... I got away with drinking at THIS job... But anyway , basically now I get addicted to alcohol super fast . Hence the kindling
    I've NEVER even heard of kindling till someone on here told me that was what happened...
    Its not so bad though... I can do Valium or some benzo for a week and get passed it.
    But I don't even WANT to drink. The only reason I am is because WORK. Isn't that backwards.?
    But I had a really good day today!
    I mean it was alright... I got a bunch of valium and 8 mg got me through the day. I did a good job. I felt OK...
    I AM on the shit list because of the smell a couple days ago , but.... I didn't drink and the Valium worked today. I didn't start to get tired and sloppy when the alcohol wore off, forcing me to drink more... I had a good day.
    This of course is not something I would dare get addicted too, but at least I can get through the next week... I really thought this was it. I had planned on quitting this week.
    I'll have to figure this out still though...

    But yes I totally feel what you are going through. .
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    #4
    Bluelighter Runningfox's Avatar
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    You have social anxiety. Perhaps a gabaergic med would help such as gabapentin or lyrica. They work on the same part of your brain as do benzodiazepines n alcohol. So-- if you are prescribed these, NEVER drink or use high doses of benzodiazepines on top of the gabaergic med

    Take care.
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    #5
    Try CBT maybe? I've heard good things about it but never got a chance to try it myself.
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    #6
    Bluelighter yompf's Avatar
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    Seriously op. Why even make a thread and ask a question if you arnt ever going to check your responses .You don't even check your PM's. Sigh....
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    #7
    Bluelighter Runningfox's Avatar
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    Ive seen that happen alot actually. Someone starts a thread n never returns.
    Oh well-- we then just consider it an open discussion I guess.
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    #8
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    I have the exact problem that only Benzos would fix. I'm currently on Suboxone and I can't take them anymore. I still have bad anxiety, I feel like some wires must of gotten crossed in my brain. Anyways, Gabapentin has giving me the best results so far. Pushing yourself into social situations help. Don't let your prior drug use effect your self esteem.
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    #9
    Also ive tried the overpowering technique where i put social pressure on the other person, just a little bit so that the focus is on them rather than me.
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    #10
    Everyone has issues with starring ppl in the eyes for longe periods.working in sales I actually trained myself to make prolonged eye contact as it builds trust. But everyone will make eye contact and look away after a set amount of time I'm taking 95% of people. I would recommend looking at the eyes for 1 second then looking at lips. And try to slowly increase the amount of time you spend making eye contact soon you'll get Really good at it and people might think you're weird for looking into there eyes to long lolol
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    #11
    I have/had the same problem except I never ended up starting at people's junk, just couldn't make eye contact or would be afraid I was making it too long and look away at a wall or something and then back again, and have been taking Klonopin for a lot longer than most people recommend for it, but who cares cause it works.

    My life was extremely hard to live when it was happening.

    Kratom also works for this, and so do alcohol and Phenibut and other GABAGERICS, but Klonopin is what I use most often.

    Also, I know for me drinking too much caffeine makes it worse, yet for some fucked up reason i have been unable to get my self to stop drinking those quantities, yet even while drinking that amount the problem very rarely occurs when I take Klonopin, so if this problem is causing you as much trouble as it was me, I suggest you try to pick up a script.
    Last edited by Mycophile; 27-06-2018 at 05:46.
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    #12
    Bluelighter yompf's Avatar
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    ^ unfortunatley not everyone can just go pick up a script . And definitely not everyone wants to turn their problems into a Benzo addiction.
    I wish weed could cure everything. I'm about to smoke so I can forget or at least not be bothered how lonely and bored I am for a bit , which I've only recently started doing again because for a while it just gave me anxiety. being stoned in public is like dying and waking up in hell though.
    I wish we could use drugs with no consequences.
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    #13
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    I had mega anxiety even days after I had taken an illicit substance such as meth. I would stammer like there was no tomorrow because all I could feel was guilt when talking to that person. Like as if I knew that person would judge me or something.
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by yompf View Post
    ^ unfortunatley not everyone can just go pick up a script . And definitely not everyone wants to turn their problems into a Benzo addiction.
    I wish weed could cure everything. I'm about to smoke so I can forget or at least not be bothered how lonely and bored I am for a bit , which I've only recently started doing again because for a while it just gave me anxiety. being stoned in public is like dying and waking up in hell though.
    I wish we could use drugs with no consequences.
    Kratom IMO is the best thing there is for my issues but I also don't want to get addicted so I try to stick to 3-4 days a week. Yeah I mean I think we should all have access to whatever we want but have you/others with this problem at least tried to pick up a script?

    And while I understand what you are saying, I sort of disagree with the phrasing of "turning their problems into a benzo addiction"...I'd say, "trading a serious anxiety problem for a short term solution."

    You make it sound like something that is always a bad idea, but honestly, I don't know how, but I've had VERY few negative effects from Klonopin use for over a decade.

    The problems it does cause are mainly that my sleep is less restful and I need more of it, but I've never noticed real Withdrawal from it despite having been most likely improperly tapered off by bad doctors and being off it for 9 months.

    I got to see in those months that yes, I wish I didn't need it, and yes, my mind is more lucid and my sleep better off it, but that also, the really bad anxiety came back and I couldn't deal and got back on it.

    There is NO drug use which is without consequences, even weed.

    BUT...I for MYSELF know how much worse my caffeine addiction, of all fucking things, makes my anxiety SO much worse.

    Why of all things can't I fucking stop drinking 6-8 cups of coffee a day even knowing it makes me anxious?

    I don't know or I'd stop, but I think it's a symptom of my obsessive compulsive disorder.

    What I DO know is the rare few times I got off caffeine and exercised regularly I had WAY less anxiety and WAY less of a need for Klonopin so I'm gonna try hard again soon.

    Some might think it's weird, but the only way I ever quit coffee was by using my relatively low supply of Dexadrine/Adderall...and it worked, till I fucked up and went back to chugging 8 cups a day without access to Dexadrine. If I ever try to stop coffee without a stimulant to replace it, even slowly cutting down, I get MASSIVE lethargy and depression and can't do anything or function at all.

    But now my new doc might give me Adderall or Ritalin, and if he does, I'm gonna use it to break my caffeine depedency and see if then I can at the same time NOT get addicted to the Adderall AND reduce my Klonopin intake.

    Back in high school when I didn't drink coffee or use other drugs I also did not need Klonopin, only an SSRI which made the "eye contact anxiety" go away as it first occurred at age 14.

    I bet if I can get back off the caffeine I can also get off the Klonopin.


    Crazy shit, but caffeine is a drug and it causes anxiety in some people and so does sugar.

    I would suggest you and others with this same issue I have moderate caffeine and sugar intake and exercise regularly.

    I've found it helps a lot, and if I was SUPER strict and drank VERY little coffee, very few other drugs, and exercised regularly, I could probably get off the Klonopin and my Lexapro alone would probably keep the anxiety in check...I mean if it worked for me at age 18 why would I be any different 20 years later??

    The only difference is I learned how to fuck myself and my body up in the last 20 years with coffee, booze, Klonopin, weed, other drugs, not sticking to a strict sleep schedule, etc. and now my brain doesn't know up from down LOL.

    While the human brain does change over time even without interference from drugs and its possible my anxiety could have worsened like it did in my 20s even without fucking with drugs, my guess is that it wouldn't have, and basically, as a teenager I was blissfully ignorant of how easy it is to fuck your brain up with drugs haha. There ain't no going back and forgetting, so behaving myself now takes conscious effort.

    I know I am prone to anxiety, but I own up to the fact that I don't do everything I could for it.

    BUT...Klonopin works for me, and it's better than going to work drunk IMO, so I'll trade that over the anxiety anyday if I have to, but hopefully there should be another option for us.
    Last edited by Mycophile; 28-06-2018 at 05:47.
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    #15
    Bluelighter yompf's Avatar
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    For some reason when you say "pick up a script" I get this surge of irritation. It's really not that easy , there are people who want to kill themselves because they can't get the prescriptions they need.
    As far as Benzo addiction being a short term solution , sure , it definitely works for the time you take it . For me and for the mia OP . But like you don't want to get addicted to Kratom , I , don't want to get addicted to Benzos. Let's face it , the withdrawals are horrid and your brain is that much worse after using. I imagine after a decade of use the damage is extensive . Whether or not it's a good idea is an opinion .
    I'm happy you have never experienced WD . It's worse then opiate WD and dangerous because of seizures. Sounds like your doctor did a good job with the taper .
    Weed definitely has the least consequences . I mean mentally and physically. I would use weed as a long term solution any day. If it worked . I'd just grow it myself.
    For me it's a choice between being alone and isolated socially, or turning to drugs which we agree has its own consequences.
    Im leaning more towards the spiritual , to get me through the isolation. Finding healing on that level , and committing to it.
    A script would be nice . But I might regret it.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by yompf View Post
    For some reason when you say "pick up a script" I get this surge of irritation. It's really not that easy , there are people who want to kill themselves because they can't get the prescriptions they need.
    As far as Benzo addiction being a short term solution , sure , it definitely works for the time you take it . For me and for the mia OP . But like you don't want to get addicted to Kratom , I , don't want to get addicted to Benzos. Let's face it , the withdrawals are horrid and your brain is that much worse after using. I imagine after a decade of use the damage is extensive . Whether or not it's a good idea is an opinion .
    I'm happy you have never experienced WD . It's worse then opiate WD and dangerous because of seizures. Sounds like your doctor did a good job with the taper .
    Weed definitely has the least consequences . I mean mentally and physically. I would use weed as a long term solution any day. If it worked . I'd just grow it myself.
    For me it's a choice between being alone and isolated socially, or turning to drugs which we agree has its own consequences.
    Im leaning more towards the spiritual , to get me through the isolation. Finding healing on that level , and committing to it.
    A script would be nice . But I might regret it.
    I hear what you are saying.

    I don't know why saying "pick up a script" is irritating though.

    Why do you think it's so hard to get one though?

    In my experience, if you go doctor shopping enough you'll find them.

    It's true I've had my family help me, just cause my mom is a shrink so she'll talk to her friends and find out what doctors prescribe benzos and then I'll go see them. I mean yeah, obviously I have a connection cause of her, but it's not necessarily so hard, but maybe it is for you. I think if you were to just go doctor to doctor, telling them you want a benzo script and will leave if they won't give you one, that you'd get one, or ask around and find out what doctors prescribe them.

    I'm sorry, but despite it being the common and popular opinion, I REALLY DON'T think that "my brain is that much worse after using" or that "the damage is extensive", and if you want to talk about irritating, I'm finding both of those statements VERY annoying, especially the "damage is extensive" one, but both.

    I have not seen any proof at all that the "damage is extensive" or that my brain is worse after using.

    People will tell you that it makes your anxiety worse, but I haven't seen that, I've just seen that when off it long enough my anxiety came back, but it was not worse than it was before, though I did sleep much better and had a clearer mind which I liked, it was too hard to deal with the anxiety coming back.

    My doctor didn't do a good job with the taper, I think they did a shitty job. Because of something fucked up my psychiatrist cut me off and I ended up at a mental hospital for 3 months (not the psych. ward, I could come and go as I wanted, it was just a day program). They told me "Klonopin tapers itself because of the long half life" which I have a hard time believing and didn't even give me a taper really and didn't use the Ashton Manuel. They basically told me to finish the rest of what I had, kind of take half of what was left for a while then just finish them off, and I was fine, no WD at all except one day I remember that I felt kind of shitty. Everything everyone tells me is wrong with taking benzos never ends up happening to me. I DO know that I'm a SERIOUS exception in terms of not getting WD, and I don't know why I was lucky, so don't think I don't know I'm a rare case that I didn't have WD.

    And it irritates the fuck out of me how people always say "if you take it a long time it'll mess up your cognitive ability", because when you read the studies on it, it's only SOMETIMES done that, and there's a large number of doctors who have made the argument that only some percentage of benzo usage ever leads to long term cognitive problems or memory loss or any of that shit.

    Tell me, if "the damage is so extensive" why have I never noticed it? Why is the only negative effect I get that the medication makes me more tired and need more sleep? (which yes, sucks, but no memory problems)??

    SOMETIMES it can cause damage, but I have never seen or read solid proof that it 100% of the time or anything CLOSE to that causes long term damage, and I'm serious that I don't think I'm ever going to have any.

    I DO plan on getting off of it someday if I can, but in all my years of use I've never started forgetting shit, experiencing memory loss, nothing other than that it makes me more tired.

    What also really bothers me is that I understand where you are coming from and you understand where I'm coming from yet OBVIOUSLY part of the reason you emphasize how much "massive brain damage" you think I am doing myself is because A) you think you can't get benzos maybe B) if you could get benzos you don't want to take them out of fear of it messing you up (and I sympathize with that I really do) so you are trying to make yourself feel better about your choice to deal with what we both know is a HORRIBLE anxiety problem without medicating. If you are so happy with your choice then you don't need to make yourself feel better about it and I'm NOT bragging about my choice either, I'm just saying it's helped for the same problem we both have. I mean what I am doing doesn't HAVE to be bad for your choice NOT to do it to be good. We are both doing seperate things about it, and that's fine. I understand your choice.

    I can't live a life of the kind of anxiety disorder we both had.

    I understand why you don't want a benzo addiction, but as you've seen you can't go in to work drinking, and I can't live every day of my life unable to stop thinking about how much or how little eye contact I make with everyone.


    Have you ever tried Kratom??

    Cause it's far safer than benzos and helps A LOT.


    But I don't care how many people tell me I've "damaged my brain" or "made my anxiety worse" with Klonopin, I refuse to believe it's true unless I actually feel that I've done damage, and since I never have, I think it's all a bunch of bullshit and that my brain is fine.

    I think SOME people who take it experience those problems, and some people don't, and most of the literature I've read has seemed to suggest that it is in fact true that only SOME of the time does it cause those problems.

    Sure, I COULD find out when I get older that my brain is all fucked up and it just took decades to show up, and I hope it doesn't happen, but I'm going to continue to live my life believing that since it never has happened it never will.

    I will however see if after I break my massive caffeine addiction if I can take less Klonopin and HOPEFULLY EVENTUALLY get off it, or at least get to the point where I take it less, but I seriously DO kind of take offense to someone telling me I've done massive brain damage and that my brain is worse after using when I've never experienced any of that.

    I don't think it's true. I think I'll continue to be just fine and not have to worry all the time about whether or not people think I'm staring at them or afraid to look at them.
    Last edited by Mycophile; 30-06-2018 at 01:38.
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    #17
    yompf: Also, IF you can manage to get yourself a benzo script and you actually want to use them, which you don't have to, you don't necessarily have to become dependent on them!!

    Even though I didn't listen to my psychiatrist and have taken them so much that I am dependent on my Klonopin, he told me you can take it up to 3 days a week and still probably not become dependent, so maybe you are seeing this as an all or nothing thing.

    Seriously, don't you think it's a bit fucked up you just told someone you don't know that "the damage must be extensive" and that "your brain is worse after using" when you don't even know that at all?

    It happens to some people, but it hasn't happened to me, and I think I'm fine.

    I was never trying to push benzos on you, I'm just saying they are an option.

    If you want something that is also habit forming but with FAR fewer risks, try Kratom.

    There's also Phenibut, but that is even MORE habit forming than benzos and riskier IMO.

    What other meds or solutions have you tried?

    I did neurofeedback, which is expensive treatment, but my anxiety is MUCH better than it was before, and I'm now confident to at least attempt cutting down on coffee if I can get an Adderall script (I know it's weird thinking) and if I can do that I bet I can cut down on Klonopin and maybe break the dependency.

    Exercise and diet help too.

    But for benzos, there is such a thing as "taking them as needed", it's not all or nothing.

    I bet you'd love Kratom, but good luck either way.
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